There is a newish trend of using Jackfruit for a meat substitute. It’s really rather brilliant. Texturally it is the closest thing I have tried to actual meat, but you get another vegetable into your diet! This is a super easy and delightful way to mix up your Memorial Day BBQ plans. I like this as is or with a little honey mustard coleslaw. It would also be good on a veggie burger or topped with a fried egg if vegan isn’t your thing.
1 20oz can green jackfruit, drained, rinsed, and dried (I used a clean kitchen towel to dry it)
1 TBL brown sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
oil for cooking
1 cup prepared BBQ sauce plus more for serving
Drain, rinse, and dry your jackfruit. I used a clean kitchen towel to dry it.
Mix together the brown sugar, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
a large skillet over medium high heat.
When pan is hot add a few tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
Add the dried jackfruit, sprinkle with brown sugar and spice mixture and stir to coat the jakefruit.
Cook 5-7 minutes stirring frequently until the jackfruit starts to brown.
Add 1 cup bbq sauce and stir to combine. Continue cooking over medium low heat for 7-10 minutes more until sauce is absorbed and jackfruit is flavorful.
Serve hot on buns topped with mustard slaw and more BBQ sauce as desired.
I know Easter is tomorrow, but it just isn’t a food holiday for me. This year we won’t even be at home. We are taking my 3 year old skiing for the first time! I’m super excited. So instead, Falafel.
Falafel is one of the most perfect foods when done correctly; salty, herbaceous, crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, delightful alone and outstanding with a few sauces. The important part of these falafels is that the chickpeas are not cooked, but simply soaked overnight. It takes a little more planning, but is work the effort. The texture is lighter and the flavor more fresh. Serve with your choice of toppings, or just snack on them as is.
2 cup dried chickpeas
1 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper (optional)
6 large cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup all purpose flour or chickpea flour if gluten-free
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Toppings of choice.
Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain.
Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
Sprinkle in the baking powder and half of the flour, and pulse. Continue to add flour and pulse until the dough easily forms a ball when shaped with your hands, and is no longer sticky.
Once dough is the right consistency, cover it and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight. You can cook it right away, but the texture is better if you allow it to sit.
When ready to use remove the dough from the refrigerator and form the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut.
Heat 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a wide deep pot and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour and try again. Then fry falafel balls in batches being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry until all sides are golden brown turning as needed.
Drain on paper towels.
I like my falafel best with baba ganouj and tahini sauce for dipping. Many like a sandwich in pita bread. Always serve with pickled or fermented something for that sour note.
For tahini sauce simply stir together tahini, water, lemon juice, salt and minced fresh garlic in proportions you like. I start with 2 TBL tahini, 2 TBL water, squeeze of lemon, one small clove of garlic, and a dash of salt. Minced fresh herbs go nicely here if you have extra parsley or cilantro.
My new obsession is nachos. Well, it isn’t that new, I think it was spring when I started to make these. It is all the fault of my friend; we were talking about lunch one day and she said she had been on a nacho kick. It was all over at that point. I came home that very day and started making nachos. It switched to taco salad for the summer, but as soon as it started to cool down again I’ve been back to nachos. I think the ingenious thing she said that made me “have” to try nachos that day was she was putting refried beans in the BOTTOM of the pan, then the chips on top. This, of course, makes the most sense ever as the chips get all crispy and warm, the beans warm up, and they don’t make everything soggy.
This recipe is just for the cheese sauce, but I’ll give you a quick run down of the rest. I heat my cast iron on the stove, saute a few cups of sliced veggies with a little salt and pepper, then dump them in a bowl. In the still hot pan I swirl a tablespoon of oil, then spread refried beans on the bottom. Top the beans with chips and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes until the chips are toasty brown and perfect. I then dump it on a plate, and pile on the veggies, nacho cheese sauce, and salsa. I then eat it all for lunch while watching my husband work out.
The cheese sauce. It is a variation of my cheese sauce from my cashew mac n cheese with some spice added. I made a nice big batch and freeze any I don’t use within a few days.
Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
3/4 cup peeled and cubed russet potato (1 small)
2 TBL sliced carrot (1 very small)
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup raw cashews
3/4-1 cup reserved cooking water
3 TBL nutritional yeast
2 TBL tahini
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
additional salt to taste
1 small can diced green chilis
1/2 tsp ground chipotle powder or one chipotle in adobo sauce
Place potato and carrot in a small saucepan and cover with cold water.
Add the vinegar and 1 tsp salt to water, bring everything to a boil partially covered, and boil for about 10 minutes.
Add the cashews and continue to cook until the potatoes and carrots are completely tender, about 5 minutes more. They are done when they slide off a fork that is inserted into a piece of potato or carrot.
Drain potatoes and carrots reserving at least 1 cup of the cooking water.
Transfer potatoes, carrots, cashew, and 3/4 cup cooking water to a blender.
Add nutritional yeast, tahini, mustard, and tomato paste and blend until smooth.
Add more cooking water if you want the sauce to thin out a bit.
Add green chilis and chipotle and pulse to combine.
Brunch is in. Especially with two small children, it is much easier time to get together with friends than dinner. So, when in need of a brunch item, here is a trusty quiche. I have done a post on quiche before if you want the ins and out, the dos and don’ts check it out. For this beauty I decided to do crustless for a few reasons. One: I didn’t have time to make a crust; two: we were going to be eating the quiche with lots of buttery pastries and I thought it would be best to cut simple carbs and added fat where it wasn’t needed. I do love a good crust, but for this instance it was unnecessary.
This is a rich, savory quiche, stuffed with vegetables and topped with a bit of cheese. It has an added bonus of being gluten free. It was super fast, one pan, and traveled perfectly to our friends where we were having brunch.
2 TBL olive oil
1 large yellow or white onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
A few tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, or a few teaspoons dried herbs
3 to 4 cups chopped vegetables (I used Kale, Mushrooms, and zucchini)
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (I used unsweetened plain almond milk)
1 cup grated cheese (I used goat guda)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet.
Add the onion slices and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over them. Cook the onions until they are golden-brown and starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Add the other vegetables and cook until liquid has been released and evaporated, 5 more minutes or so.
Remove the pan from the heat and spread the vegetables evenly across the bottom of the skillet.
In a bowl whisk the eggs and milk together until everything is uniformly yellow.
Add remaining salt, pepper, and any herbs you are using and whisk to combine.
Pour the egg mixture over the vegetable.
Sprinkle with grated cheese in an even layer over the top.
Transfer the quiche to the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once the surface is lightly brown all the way across and it is firm in the middle, it’s fully cooked.
Let the quiche cool for about 20 minutes, then slice into wedges.
We eat a good amount of kale; I know, so trendy. However, I actually love the stuff. Eating all that kale, and being me, I have had a hard time throwing away all the stems. If you compost maybe it doesn’t hurt so bad, but I live someplace where that isn’t a possibility right now, and it hurts to waste. When I heard about kale stem pesto a light bulb went off for me. The perfect, and delicious way to use up my kale stems. This is a super simple recipe that comes together in a flash. I’m leaving it up to you for how you want to use it. So far we have done a kale stem pesto pasta with sauteed vegetables, put it in a power bowl, topped homemade veggie burgers, and I have been stirring it into vegenaise for my sandwiches. How will you use it?
Kale Stem and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
2 cups roughly chopped kale stems, about 4oz
1 cup toasted walnuts, about 3.5 oz
2 medium cloves garlic
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil
1 tsp salt
Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
I first made these tacos while we were staying with some friends. We don’t get to see them often and I honestly didn’t know what they liked to eat, but wanted to surprise them with dinner after work. I saw several bottles of honey mustard in their refrigerator and decided to make something that would go with that flavor. Thus the slaw was born, and the BBQ tacos soon followed to make a full meal. I think it’s a super fun combination. It also has the benefit of being fairly nutritious and tasting naughty; perfect for Father’s Day.
BBQ Tofu Tacos With Honey Mustard Slaw – Vegan and Gluten Free
2 TBL olive oil
1 LB extra firm tofu cut into strips
1 TBL tamari or soy sauce -gluten free if needed
1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce -gluten free if needed
6 small tortillas, I prefer corn tortillas -gluten free if needed
It is really feeling like spring might stick around here on the East Coast. I’m pretty happy about it. My littles are loving the park and I am loving the sunshine! For Earth Day we are focusing on treating the Earth with respect. Also an everyday lesson, especially with a two year old! Wolfie is a sweet, emphatic kid, however, she is two. We are constantly working on how our actions affect others, and the world around us. Something we should all probably think about more often.
To celebrate Earth Day we are eating lots of lovely, easy to make, flavorful, and vegetable forward meals. This is one of my old favorites with a few extras to jazz it up. I hope you like to additions.
Vegan Peanut Noodle Salad
1 package Tempeh cut into 1″ cubes
2 TBL olive oil
2 TBL tamari
1 tsp chili powder
8.8 oz dried Udon noodles cooked according to package directions, drained, and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup water reserved from cooking noodles
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 TBL lime juice
3 TBL brown sugar
2 TBL tamari
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2′ pice of ginger, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
1/2 cup julienned red pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
Heat a large case iron skillet over medium high heat.
Add oil, swirl to coat the bottom of the pan, and add the tempeh.
Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown on all sides, 5-7 minutes.
Turn off the heat and drizzle the tamari over the tempeh, stir, and sprinkle the chili powder over the tempeh, stir and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the reserved cooking liquid, peanut butter, lime juice, brown sugar, tamari, and red pepper flakes whisking to combine.
Add the cooked noodles and toss to coat with dressing.
Add sugar snap peas, red pepper, scallions, and cilantro tossing to combine.
Top with tempeh croutons and serve at room temperature or cold.
Using what you have on hand can be a struggle, especially with it is just a little of this and a little of that from previous recipes. One trick I love is to let go of preconceived notions of making something specific, and just make something that tastes good. I have a version of this rice, bean, and vegetable mixture regularly as I frequently have leftover rice, beans, and some odds and ends of vegetables. You can jazz it up with herbs and spices, or keep it simple like this version. I love the simplicity and deliciousness of a good olive oil, a little nutritional yeast, and some big, crunchy salt.
Rice, Beans, and Greens -How to use leftovers for a quick and satisfying meal
1 TBL oil for cooking
1 small onion, sliced
4 mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cooked rice (mine was leftover from takeout Indian)
3/4 cup cooked kidney beans (or other bean of choice)
2 cups fresh spinach (or other greens)
1 TBL nutritional yeast
1 TBL good olive oil
Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat.
Add oil, and saute onion and mushrooms until just softened, about 3 minutes.
Add the rice, kidney beans, and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted and rice and beans are hot.
Sprinkle on nutritional yeast, drizzle the oil, and add some salt. Stir lightly to combine and serve.
This is probably enough to serve two of normal appetite. Enough for one nursing mother.
As part of my New Year’s resolution to cook more new things I have gone back to my cookbooks. The Veganomicon is still one of my favorites, especially for inspiration. I love to page through it and soak up ideas to be turned into food at a later date. However, sometimes you just need to good from a recipe. This delightful pineapple quinoa stir fry is just such a recipe. I have made a few minor changes based on what I had in the house and the recipe below reflects those changes.
This is a lightly fruity stir-fry balanced by the saltiness of the cashews and has the pop of fresh herbs. This can be a main dish or a side depending on your goals. I served only four people as a side last time I made this, but we are all big eaters.